Dr. Gripe (barely breathing)

Saturday night, 2 AM. So there I am, wading through the nocturnal manifestations of my imagination, minding my own business when my lungs decide that they aren’t all that fond of working. Seriously? Terrifying. I’m gasping and wheezing, turning from one side to the other, and trying to cough my lungs into full functionality again. No luck. Ten minutes pass, not getting any better. Twenty. I decide that, since it seems to be snot that is getting between me and my oxygen, I’ll get a benadryl and see if that helps.

Meanwhile, I’m getting a little delirious. I’m laying there, thinking about calling 911, when it occurs to me that I can’t actually talk. Now, if this is actually true or just a figment of my imagination, I’m not sure. But I can envision the entire exchange between me and the 911 operator, which will end with her screaming at me for crank-calling a serious life-saving service. I have my cell phone next to me, but not the house phone, so they’d have no idea where I was anyway. Never mind the fact that I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to go down stairs to let the rescue crew in the front door. Nor am I certain that I have the wherewithal to be fully decent for whomever shows up. Besides, what if I’m just having a bad dream and none of this is actually happening? What if they yell at me for being a hypochondriac? It can’t be that bad, can it?

Anyway, I know I can’t drive myself to the ER, so that is out. I decide that staying put in bed and hoping I don’t die is my best bet. Clearly, my thinking at this point is quite fuzzy, given the oxygen deprivation and the benadryl.

I fall back asleep about an hour later, and don’t wake up again until around 10:00 the next morning, my lungs sore, raw and not exactly fully functioning. I call Tink, who has asthma, to tell her about it and see what she thinks. She hears the bizarre sound that I make when I inhale and proceeds to terrify me, insisting that I really ought to get to an urgent care center, and if I won’t do that, I need to get to a doctor ASAP. I’m dizzy when I bend over to pick up dirty clothes off of the floor, so I decide to go shopping instead.

So I’m not terribly bright, what do you want?

I did my research and identified my closest pulmonary specialist and try to call them. I even tried to get a hold of an urgent care facility that wasn’t a full hour away from my house. No luck – they don’t start seeing adults until the end of October. I considered going to the ER, (on Tink’s advice) but I knew that was going to take all freaking day, which I wasn’t exactly up for. So that left shopping.

This morning, I call the specialist for an appointment. Now they don’t open until 10. Bugger it all, the answering service told me they opened at 8 just yesterday. So I call back at 10 and go through this whole thing with the nurse that answers the phone. She’s acting like I’m a total moron because I didn’t go to the ER when I couldn’t breathe. Well, the hubby was gone and I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. Um. Oxygen deprivation does impair one’s ability to think clearly does it not? Anyway, so after arguing whether my POS requires referrals (I’ve been told by the company that it does not), I am being squeezed in at 1:45.

And do I find this just a little scary? Just a little.

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Dr. Gripe (barely breathing)

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